Texas Advertising growing its businesses

Texas Advertising experienced dramatic growth in its guest guide and website design businesses in 2012 and expects to set company records this year.

“2012 was an outstanding year for us, and we anticipate twice as much growth this year, which will be our best year ever,” said Brian Schaeffer, president and CEO of Texas Advertising, which produces guest guides through its AGS division, capitalizing on the name of the formerly independent company, which Texas Advertising acquired in June of 2011.

“We expanded our guest guide business by 65 parks in 2012, which was AGS’s first full year of business following the company’s acquisition by Texas Advertising, “Schaeffer said.

Texas Advertising also launched, enhanced or redesigned 48 websites in 2012 through its TXAD Internet Services division, a company record, and 2013 is shaping up to be even busier than last year.

“People want mobi sites that are optimized for tablets and cellphones,” Schaeffer said. “We’re also providing blogging services for parks that don’t have the staffing resources to blog on their own.”

Texas Advertising has launched, enhanced or redesigned nearly 300 websites since its founding in 1994, though most of its website business has taken place during the past five years with a heavy concentration in the campground business.

“That’s our primary focus because of our expertise and experience in the campground industry,” said Schaeffer, who also publishes the Texas RV Travel Guide and serves as executive director of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

Private park operators say they have been pleased with TXAD Internet Services, including The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine, which recently hired TXAD Internet Services to develop a separate page at www.VineyardsCampground.com to help the park better market its 13 park model cabins.

While consumers have always had the ability to reserve these cabins online, they haven’t had the ability to rent specific cabins based on the photographs they see online. Thanks to a recently completed website enhancement by TXAD Internet Services, the Vineyards Campground now has a separate cabin page on its website that gives consumers the ability to rent the specific cabin they like most, based on the photographs and floor plans presented online.

“This way, people can see what they’re getting and there are no surprises,” said Joe Moore, the Vineyards’ general manager. “People kept asking, which cabin is Cabin 3 or Cabin 4 or Cabin 10. People want to know what they’re getting. They want to know where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located, where the kitchen is and where the front door is and if there’s a view of the lake.”

But with the new website layout, consumers can now see that the Vineyards Campground offers seven different cabin floor plans. They can see a series of photos for each cabin and also check out the views from each cabin’s front porch. The website’s reservation system also helps consumers select the units that meet their needs, based on their lodging requirements.

Moore said the new system has simplified the online cabin reservation process for consumers, while reducing front desk staff time on reservation questions.

The cabin section upgrades are the latest improvements TXAD Internet Services has made to the Vineyards Campground’s website. The company previously developed a scaled down version of the website to make it compatible with mobile devices.

TXAD Internet Services is also developing websites for companies outside the campground industry, the latest of which is Maximum K-9, a Waxahachie, Texas-based dog training service.

“They did a wonderful job,” said Maximum K-9 owner Gayle Justice, adding that the website upgrade at www.MaximumK-9.com included several new pages of text, photos and descriptions of her services, which include off-leash dog training, training for aggressive, fearful, blind and deaf dogs as well as pet sitting, pet boarding and pet rescues.

Even though word-of-mouth referrals account for nearly 70 percent of her business, even Justice realizes the value of website referrals.

“I had had the same web page for quite some time,” Justice said. “But when you’re busy and you’re a one-person operation, you never get time to work on it.”

Meanwhile, Schaeffer said the AGS acquisition has helped Texas Advertising to dramatically increase its guest guide business, while also enabling the company to provide a greater variety of advertising, marketing and branding services to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.

AGS specializes in the production of guest guides or site maps, while Texas Advertising offers a full range of advertising and marketing services, including website design, blogging, search engine optimization, analytics and stat tracking through its TXAD Internet Services division.

“Since we are a true marketing company with over 25 years in the industry, we are actually helping parks build their businesses,” Schaeffer said. “We anticipate twice as much growth this year since parks are choosing superior products, service and marketing assistance as they work to expand their businesses.”

Keith Stachurski tapped AGS to produce a 12-page guest guide for the Virginia Beach KOA last year.

“They did a very professional job,” he said. “We had used another company before this, but they didn’t give me many options. Now I have I much better piece and a much more professional image.”

AGS also recruited 20 to 25 local and regional advertisers to help cover the cost of producing the new guide. “They got the advertisers and got the guide together pretty quickly,” Stachurski said, adding, “AGS did what they said they were going to do.”

Courtesy of RV Daily Report